Scottish women’s employment rate second highest in Europe

Annabelle Ewing
Annabelle Ewing

Latest figures released by Eurostat covering the period April to June 2015 show that Scotland’s female employment rate is second only to Sweden, with less than four percentage points separating the countries.

During a visit to Brussels, Minister for Youth and Women’s Employment Annabelle Ewing will join representatives from other European countries to discuss how they are tackling gender inequality in the workplace.

Scotland’s female employment rate for April to June 2015 stood at 70.6 per cent while Sweden’s was 74.0 per cent.

The UK rate is ranked in eighth place at 67.4 per cent.

Scotland also recorded the second lowest female unemployment rate among the 28 EU countries at 4.9 per cent. Only Germany recorded better with 4.2 per cent.

Ms Ewing said: “Once again the Eurostat figures show that Scotland is really among the best in Europe for women’s employment. This is something we can be proud of, but it also means we must look at countries like Sweden and Germany to see what further improvements we can make.

“I am very pleased to have the opportunity to hear about the approach taken elsewhere in Europe to attract and retain women in work. We’ve seen success through the promotion of more flexible working programmes alongside projects dealing directly with employers to ensure family or caring responsibilities are not an insurmountable barrier to work.

“We’ve recognised how effective visible role models are in encouraging more women to believe in themselves and support a range of training through different models and with different partners because we know that this isn’t a situation where one size fits all. We’re constantly reviewing what partnerships are effective in reaching those who face barriers to finding and staying in work and making sure that we are able to share that experience as far as possible.”

During the visit Ms Ewing is also chairing a meeting looking specifically at how encouraging more women to start their own businesses would boost economies.

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